There are plenty of use cases for this. Graphic Designers could benefit the most from documentation on things like Adobe Software, Gimp, and Inkscape. Wouldn’t it be nice for people to be taken step by step with examples and images instead of having experienced designers try to explain basic concepts with what little time they have and thus mostly with text?

I think this would be a great comprehensive resource that could be very reliable after collaborators had their way with it. This would also help cut down on common/duplicate questions as well as keeping the new questions more focused on less common issues that need really specific answers.

here is a link to the tour for Documentation on Stack Overflow.

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    I don't get it. What do you picture us making documentation on? Do you plan to help on this endeavor?
    – Ryan
    Jun 27, 2017 at 12:53
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    "...to be taken step by step with examples and images instead of having experienced designers try to explain basic concepts" : the biggest issue GD.SE has is people that don't read basic documentation before asking a question. So I'm not sure more documentation will solve this issue.
    – Luciano
    Jun 27, 2017 at 13:04
  • @Ryan Like I mentioned before, I picture making documentation for Adobe Software, Gimp, and Inkscape for the most part, and yes I would love to help out.
    – user72517
    Jun 27, 2017 at 19:04
  • @Luciano Your probably right for the most part, but I see people wrongfully get the boot for duplicate questions/asking questions without doing research all the time. At least with documentation on the site people could point to the information here and close the question if it is truly necessary, but in the case that the information they asked for wasn’t in the documentation here, someone could chime in and add it reducing the need for that question in the future and allowing that question to be closed as well. A girl can dream I guess.
    – user72517
    Jun 27, 2017 at 19:14
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    @heidi they don't get the boot for duplicate. They get a notice added to their post pointing them to the duplicate so they can find the answer without us having to repeat ourselves
    – Ryan
    Jun 27, 2017 at 20:30
  • @heidi I'm not entirely sure it's productive to document the basic features of the whole Adobe Design package for example, since you can just find that with a simple google search. On Adobe's own website. Like duplicate questions, I don't think we should be repeating what's already available, specially software manuals.
    – Luciano
    Jun 28, 2017 at 8:03
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    I think the point has been missed. Stack Overflow has added documentation despite the fact that there are other learning materials out there. Of course documentation already exists on other sites. Of course there are a slew of video tutorials and articles. Of course there are paid resources people can take advantage of. None of this stops people from coming to this site and asking questions because they are looking for more answers.
    – user72517
    Jun 28, 2017 at 8:26
  • @heidi making a code tutorial is a lot less labor intensive than having to screenshot step by step instructions. Its also easier to search for the same reason. If I spend that kind of time I would only do it to take to a publisher or self-publish. It's one thing to answer questions once in a while, its another thing to write an entire book for the sole benefit of a for-profit organization (SE) at no financial gain to myself. I get it, SE users have decided to do just that. Good for them I suppose. I for one would want no part in it. They're already getting my answers and my moderation for free
    – Ryan
    Jun 28, 2017 at 16:15

2 Answers 2


As PieBie says, Documentation is still in Beta. That means it's still a work in progress. There has (as far as I know, as someone who doesn't frequent Stack Overflow much, and Documentation even less) been a lot of problems and so there is significant ongoing work to fix it. See...

Until Documentation is up and running in a stable and working condition there's unlikely to be any desire to roll it out to the rest of Stack Exchange.

With all of that said; in theory I think documentation on this site is a great idea—for all the reasons you state. In practice, it would take a significant amount of active time and effort investment from a number of users here to keep documentation up to date (and get it started in the first place), and I'm not sure we'd have enough willing participants to make it work...

Although I'd be more than happy to be proved wrong there.

  • Thank you for those links, they provide a lot of substantial information about this. I’m with you on this one hoping that people can prove you wrong and contribute to make this happen, but if I’m honest with myself I can see why that may be an unlikely assumption to make. Even so, It makes me happy to see that Jon Ericson is optimistic in his post on Tearing Down the Structure of Documentation. "Let’s work together to find a way of organizing and creating Documentation that’s better than what we have now and, perhaps, revolutionizes the entire genre of documentation!"
    – user72517
    Jun 27, 2017 at 19:53

There are some reasons GDSE does not have documentation:

  • It's still in beta. It is a relatively new feature. It was launched on Stack Exchange's biggest site (Stack Overflow) as a fill-in for the void between the stack where the same answers get asked repeatedly and the FAQ, which is very focused in scope. But even there it is still in Beta, which means it's not even close to getting released for the rest of the stacks, including us.

  • We haven't asked for it. Like many features, it probably won't get deployed automatically across the network. According to some mods on the SE Meta they aren't even thinking about deploying it on other sites. So we probably won't get it automatically and will have to ask for it. Even then, the mods of this site will first have to discuss with the community if we want it and if it will be worth implementing.

  • We're not a tutorial site. There are plenty of places on the web where a person can go to find tutorials for lots of techniques. Some of our members create tutorials for other sites or their own sites. GDSE is ideally the place where people come after they tried the tutorial and got stuck.

That said, I'm just a lone voice here and not a mod. I don't know if the mods have already discussed this. I'm not necessarily against implementing the documentation feature if and when it ever becomes available. But I do think it needs a thorough user base discussion and a firm scope definition before getting implemented.

PS: Sorry if this answer is a bit technical in parts. The whole Stack Exchange structure and workings can be a bit confusing for new users at times. If something isn't entirely clear, please do ask in a comment or in chat.

  • FYI there are no mods on Meta, any diamonds you see there are all staff (CMs or devs)
    – Cai
    Jun 27, 2017 at 7:32
  • yeah, but I didn't want to make it any more confusing than it already was
    – PieBie Mod
    Jun 27, 2017 at 7:40
  • You brought up some good points, it does need a good discussion and an even better scope definition to make implementation the most effective. I suppose waiting it out to see how Stack Overflow does is a reasonable consensus. Regardless, I still think it would be pretty amazing to have a free singular resource for learning the basics of a new skill or software in the same place that I can ask questions about the rare use cases later. I think this would increase the amount of visitors to the site as a consequence as well as the amount of scrutiny that makes for better documentation.
    – user72517
    Jun 27, 2017 at 19:03

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